INDEPENDENCE, Ohio – The Cleveland Cavaliers made a big change with another season falling apart, firing general manager Chris Grant on Thursday.
Grant was fired a day after the Cavs dropped their sixth straight game, an embarrassing home loss to a Los Angeles Lakers team that started with eight players and finished with five. Vice president of basketball operations David Griffin will serve as acting general manager.
Owner Dan Gilbert made it clear he’s unhappy with what has transpired in a season that began with hopes the Cavs would make the playoffs after a three-year absence.
This has been a very difficult period for the franchise, Gilbert said in a statement. We have severely underperformed against expectations.
Gilbert also met with reporters at the team’s training facility following the announcement. He expressed confidence that the Cavs can show improvement under coach Mike Brown over the final 33 games. Grant was instrumental in the rehiring of Brown, who was fired during his first stint with the team in 2010.
Gilbert was asked if Brown’s job was safe for the rest of this season.
We’re going to see Mike Brown succeed this year because I think that he’ll be able to do good things and I think this team will be able to do good things, Gilbert said.
Gilbert also was asked why he decided to change his general manager but not his coach.
Coach Brown has only been here over half a season, he said. Chris Grant has been here 8 1/2 years. He’s been the general manager almost four years. There’s a lot of talent on this team. I think everybody knows that.
Gilbert promised last spring the Cavs would not return to the NBA lottery, but Cleveland is 16-33 and has dropped six in a row – matching its longest losing streak of the season. The Cavs are 5 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference and their only win in the last nine games came over Milwaukee, which has the league’s worst record.
NETS 103, SPURS 89: In New York, Alan Anderson scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, helping Brooklyn pull away from short-handed San Antonio.
Despite playing without Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard, their top four scorers, the Spurs were still within five points early in the fourth quarter before the Nets pulled away for good.
Deron Williams added 16 points and eight assists as Brooklyn ended a six-game losing streak to San Antonio with its first victory since March 29, 2010.
Cory Joseph scored 18 for the Spurs, Danny Green had 17 and Patty Mills 16.